Male infertility is an important health concern that is expected to have a major genetic etiology. Although high-throughput sequencing has linked gene defects to more than 50% of rare and severe sperm anomalies, less than 20% of common and moderate forms are explained. We hypothesized that this low success rate could at least be partly due to oligogenic defects - the accumulation of several rare heterozygous variants in distinct, but functionally connected, genes. Here, we compared fertility and sperm parameters in male mice harboring one to four heterozygous truncating mutations of genes linked to multiple morphological anomalies of the flagellum (MMAF) syndrome. Results indicated progressively deteriorating sperm morphology and motility with increasing numbers of heterozygous mutations. This first evidence of oligogenic inheritance in failed spermatogenesis strongly suggests that oligogenic heterozygosity could explain a significant proportion of asthenoteratozoospermia cases. The findings presented pave the way to further studies in mice and man.
Figure 5 - Source Data 1, Figure 6 - Source Data 1 and Figure 7 - Source Data 1 contain the numerical data used to generate the figures.
- Pierre F Ray
- Christophe Arnoult
- Guillaume Martinez
- Charles Coutton
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All animal procedures were conducted according to a protocol approved by the local Ethics Committee (ComEth Grenoble No. 318), by the French government (ministry agreement number #7128 UHTA-U1209-CA), and by the Direction Générale de la Santé (DGS) for the State of Geneva.
- Jean-Ju Chung, Yale University, United States
© 2022, Martinez et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
β-Arrestins are master regulators of cellular signaling that operate by desensitizing ligand-activated G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) at the plasma membrane and promoting their subsequent endocytosis. The endocytic activity of β-arrestins is ligand dependent, triggered by GPCR binding, and increasingly recognized to have a multitude of downstream signaling and trafficking consequences that are specifically programmed by the bound GPCR. However, only one biochemical ‘mode’ for GPCR-mediated triggering of the endocytic activity is presently known – displacement of the β-arrestin C-terminus (CT) to expose clathrin-coated pit-binding determinants that are masked in the inactive state. Here, we revise this view by uncovering a second mode of GPCR-triggered endocytic activity that is independent of the β-arrestin CT and, instead, requires the cytosolic base of the β-arrestin C-lobe (CLB). We further show each of the discrete endocytic modes is triggered in a receptor-specific manner, with GPCRs that bind β-arrestin transiently (‘class A’) primarily triggering the CLB-dependent mode and GPCRs that bind more stably (‘class B’) triggering both the CT and CLB-dependent modes in combination. Moreover, we show that different modes have opposing effects on the net signaling output of receptors – with the CLB-dependent mode promoting rapid signal desensitization and the CT-dependent mode enabling prolonged signaling. Together, these results fundamentally revise understanding of how β-arrestins operate as efficient endocytic adaptors while facilitating diversity and flexibility in the control of cell signaling.
The insulin receptor (IR) and insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R) control metabolic homeostasis and cell growth and proliferation. The IR and IGF1R form similar disulfide bonds linked homodimers in the apo-state; however, their ligand binding properties and the structures in the active state differ substantially. It has been proposed that the disulfide-linked C-terminal segment of α-chain (αCTs) of the IR and IGF1R control the cooperativity of ligand binding and regulate the receptor activation. Nevertheless, the molecular basis for the roles of disulfide-linked αCTs in IR and IGF1R activation are still unclear. Here, we report the cryo-EM structures of full-length mouse IGF1R/IGF1 and IR/insulin complexes with modified αCTs that have increased flexibility. Unlike the Γ-shaped asymmetric IGF1R dimer with a single IGF1 bound, the IGF1R with the enhanced flexibility of αCTs can form a T-shaped symmetric dimer with two IGF1s bound. Meanwhile, the IR with non-covalently linked αCTs predominantly adopts an asymmetric conformation with four insulins bound, which is distinct from the T-shaped symmetric IR. Using cell-based experiments, we further showed that both IGF1R and IR with the modified αCTs cannot activate the downstream signaling potently. Collectively, our studies demonstrate that the certain structural rigidity of disulfide-linked αCTs is critical for optimal IR and IGF1R signaling activation.